Former Apprentice star Katie Hopkins has launched an attack on people with Northern accents, claiming the way Liverpudlians and Geordies speak makes them sound 'stupid'.
"There are certain accents that make people sound stupid," she told Yahoo! News. "If you have a Northern accent you sound more stupid. For me it’s the Liverpool and Newcastle accent. Personally I can’t stand a Brummie accent."
The outspoken reality TV star's comments come days after BBC Breakfast business presenter Stephanie McGovern, from Teeside, revealed she had encountered prejudice at work and from viewers due to the way she speaks.
Hopkins said: "To be fair the viewers have a point. The BBC is desperately wanting to put regional accents on screen. The BBC is focused on demonstrating diversity. Stephanie McGovern is on screen for her accent. For some people regional accents are difficult to understand. Why should viewers have to listen intently to understand the content? You’re watching something but you want to understand what’s going on. To show that in a really heavy regional dialect is a strange idea."
A BBC spokeswoman said: "Steph does a fantastic job on BBC Breakfast. If her accent was an issue for some in the past during her career then it certainly isn't now."
Hopkins believes that the London accent is the clearest.
She said: "London is a first class city surrounded by a second class country. This is a London centric country – we expect to be able to understand viewing. The London accent is the best reflection of that."
Hopkins has recently sparked controversy with her forthright opinions.
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She went head-to-head with ITV presenter Holly Willoughby on This Morning after claiming that it was acceptable to judge children on the names they were given by their parents.
She also told The Sun newspaper she wouldn’t employ an obese person.